Here’s a fun way to teach kids Internet Safety. Show them they have secret spy skills of their own.
Classified Intel: Who is the enemy?
- People who want to gain your personal information
- People who want to steal your bank account information
- People who want to hack your computer
- People who might want to break into your house while you’re on vacation
1. First Steps: How you can protect yourself and your family in a few easy ways.
Make sure everything is updated. Your OS — operating system. Your apps. They edit for security reasons as well as bug fixes. In other words, good operational security.
Fun Fact: Grace Hopper, among those working on the Mark II computer in 1947, was a mathematician and computer programmer. She called computer problems “bugs” because there was a bug in the first computer and needed to “debug” it. She later became a Navy rear admiral!
The moth remains can be found in the group’s logbook at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., “Log Book With Computer Bug.” National Museum of American History.
Make sure you’re using secured websites. How can you tell? Look in the browser window where it shows what website you’re on. The name of the website is also called the URL. Look to the left of the URL, and you should see either HTTP:// or HTTPS://. The “S” stands for secure, and secure websites are safe to transmit personal data over if you have to fill out forms, for example, log in to your school website, or even stay safe while you’re cruising the net.
There should also be a padlock near the URL to show it’s a secure site.
2. Becoming a Second Level Secret Agent
VPNs are your best friend.
What is a VPN? A virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet. To ensure safety, data travels through secure tunnels, and VPN users must use authentication methods — including passwords, tokens, and other unique identification methods — to access the VPN.
NOTE: The Enemy may use a VPN to hide their IP address (location)
3. You are now an Intelligence Officer
Evade targets and search the web, analyzing intelligence (almost) secretly. As a result, companies are making money off of your private information online without your consent.
This kind of surveillance can be reduced. First, you can use the Firefox web browser or its app. Alternatively, DuckDuckGo is an internet privacy company that enables you to take control of your personal information online. That is my default, my internet safe house. Set DuckDuckGo as your search engine in Settings. DuckDuckGo also has an app. They are crowd-funded (and funny).
- Check your browser settings
- Do Not Track
- Block Pop Ups
- Clear your Cache
4. Hello Spymaster!
- Always ask your parents permission to be on the Internet
- Don’t Wander Into Bad Neighborhoods
- Don’t Do Anything You Wouldn’t Want To Be Caught At. That kind of makes sense, doesn’t it
- Don’t download files from unknown sources
We can close the gender gap in technology:
Tuition-free coding school for women: Gracehopper
Girls Who Code is on “a mission to close the gender gap in technology and to change the image of what a programmer looks like and does.”
Parents: Interested in learning more about Internet Safety and Online Privacy? Check out IntelTechniques, the comprehensive website of Michael Bazzell, a true expert on these subjects. Also, consider checking out his podcast below for “your weekly dose of privacy, digital security, and open-source intelligence (OSINT) news and opinion.”